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Jun 1, 2023

ICYMI: Rapid Prototyping with the FluidForming Hydroforming Process Sparks Innovation

Successful innovators know that the only thing better than having one great idea is having a bunch of them—and that one key to developing practical, scalable innovations is a quick and cost-effective rapid prototyping process.

Regular readers of this blog already know that the FluidForming process enables experimentation by taking advantage of CAD and 3D printing to reduce a rapid prototyping cycle that moves from idea to production in days rather than months. But if you haven’t been following along, here’s a handy roundup of links to introduce you to the ways that FluidForming Americas and the FormBalancer press can turn a good idea—or a bunch of them!—into reality.

“Complexity is Free” with rapid prototyping

FluidForming Americas’ hydroforming machine, the FormBalancer, offers an unprecedented combination of technologies in a single machine, and one of its most important capabilities is seamless integration with 3D printed tooling.

In FFA’s President and CEO Paul Benny’s words, this means that “Complexity is free with 3D printing.” Not so with injection molding, machining, casting, and other traditional manufacturing processes, where complex part designs make production costs skyrocket.” This means that ideas that would be too difficult or cost-prohibitive with traditional tooling are now possible.

What’s more, with tax incentives for innovative new technologies, the FormBalancer may qualify for the R&D Tax Credit that’s available for companies adopting new processes like FluidForming metal forming.

Time is Money

Another benefit of FluidForming’s seamless integration of 3D printed tooling is reduced lead time. It’s possible to move from ideation to CAD to production in a matter of days, rather than months, drastically reducing time to market. And because the FormBalancer usually requires a single die from prototyping through production, it can lower tooling costs by up to 88%.

Big Leaps and Steady Progress

Whether you’re blazing new trails with out-of-the-box ideas or fine-tuning an existing product with incremental improvements, FluidForming’s rapid prototyping capabilities translate good ideas into better products quickly. In fact, major manufacturers like BMW, Airbus and Miele rely on FluidForming for precision prototyping across a variety of industry sectors, from transportation to durable goods.

And FluidForming backs up this rapid prototyping capability with detailed pre-production Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to ensure that prototypes are optimized for real-world use conditions.

Innovation in Action

When the world’s leading kitchen appliance manufacturer approached FFA to help develop a high-performing new microwave oven model, we provided expert FEA analysis, part simulation, and appliance prototyping.

In our case study of this process, we highlight the responsiveness and flexibility that allowed FFA to develop 11 different tools for use in the FormBalancer 25. This technological agility allowed us to deliver a high-quality product on time, on budget and on schedule.

With the FormBalancer, FluidForming Americas takes a giant step forward in precision metalforming. To learn more about the FormBalancer’s capabilities and benefits, contact FluidForming Americas at (800) 497-3545 or email us at

FluidForming Americas, Inc. is a member of the Precision Metal Forming Association and is AS9100 Rev D, ISO 9001:2015 certified. ITAR registered.